Guangdong province, nicknamed "the factory of the world," is the heartland of China's manufacturing boom. It has been a driving force behind the country's blistering pace of development since the 1990s, and has played a large role in the Chinese economy's growth in recent years. It currently produces about 12 percent of China's global manufacturing output, and experts predict that the region's annual growth will soon reach 10 percent, almost double the country's annual growth rate.
Guangdong, an economic powerhouse neighboring Hong Kong in South China, holds around one-third of the country's manufacturing capacity. It is forecast to stay on a fast-growing track in the coming five years mainly supported by robust development of heavy industries and increasing consumer spending. Tan Bingcai, an official with the Research and Development Center of the Guangdong provincial government, a local think-tank, predicts that the local economy will grow at an average rate of more than 10 percent from 2006 to 2010, after having expanded by an estimated 12.4 percent in 2005. "Guangdong's economy is entering a new round of long-term growth," he says, "and heavy and high-end industries will lead industrial upgrading and economic expansion in Guangdong."
More than half of the region's manufacturing operations are looking into ways to improve their current assembly process or advance their level of automation. To help these manufacturers learn about the assembly technology and equipment available to meet their needs, Reed Exhibitions is launching Assembly Technology Expo China 2006 (ATE China 2006) with the support of the Society of Automotive Engineers of China (SAE China). The event will be held Aug. 29-31 at the Shenzhen Exhibition and Convention Center in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China. ATE China 2006 will be held in conjunction with Quality Expo China 2006, and co-located with the established and successful Nepcon South China.
Technical Program at ATE ChinaReed Exhibitions, in cooperation with SAE China, will present a series of international conferences in conjunction with ATE China. Labeled the "SAE China Equipment Inaugural Meeting & China Automotive Factory Plan, Design & Equipment Manufacture International Forum," the conferences will cover the entire process of automotive manufacturing in China.
Topics that will be addressed in the forum include:
- Automotive factory design research by MMI Planning & Engineering Institute IX.
- Optimization of the automobile industrial structure, in accordance with China's 11th 5-year plan.
- Innovation in China's automotive equipment industry, according to the document of the State Council of the People's Republic of China entitled "Accelerate the Development of the Equipment Manufacturing Industry."
Many car makers and related manufacturers of assembly equipment in China have already shown great interest in the forum. According to SAE China, these automobile industry market leaders have confirmed participation in the forum:
- Shanghai Automobile Industry Corp. (Group)
- Guangzhou Automobile Industry Group Co. Ltd.
- China FAW Group Corp.
- The Fourth Design and Research Institute
- MMI Planning & Engineering Institute IX
- Harbin Hafei Motor Co. Ltd.
The technical program also includes two activities in addition to the conferences in the international forum. First, ATE China will organize delegations to visit the leading manufacturing companies at Guangzhou. Participants will gain in-depth knowledge about the booming market in South China and learn about partnership opportunities. Second, ATE China will set up a dedicated Tools Display Zone where exhibitors can showcase their products for attendees. Learn more about ATE China 2006 by visiting www.atexpochina.com.
The Right TimeMarket conditions are ideal for the inaugural ATE China, with its emphasis on automobile manufacturing. According to the National Statistics Bureau, Guangdong province manufactured 369,000 cars in 2005. It is the first time in history that automobile sales in Guangdong province ranked a close second to Shanghai, only a mere 70,000 car sales from usurping Shanghai in the top spot. Guangzhou Toyota's launch in 2006 will make automobile manufacturing a leading industry within Guangzhou, and experts are unanimous that Guangdong will be a key auto manufacturing area in 2006. Many major automobile firms are beefing up their production capacity as they jostle for dominance in the local market, and Guangzhou is now home to three Japanese mega-automobile groups-Honda, Nissan and Toyota.
Guangzhou Toyota Company Ltd., which was founded in 2004, will roll out its first car in June 2006. "Initial production capacity for building the Toyota Camry will be 100,000 cars per year, and will reach 250,000 in years to come," says the Director, Mr. Zhang. He expects production to increase exponentially as it caters increasingly to local demand. Indeed, Mr. Zhang predicts this automobile heavyweight will take 10 percent of market share in China by the year 2010, producing on average 1 million automobiles per year.
Honda is significantly strengthening its position within the Chinese market. Guangzhou Honda built 230,000 cars in 2005, a net increase of 13.9 percent over 2004, which represents a 7.4 percent market share. In February 2005, Guangzhou Honda launched the first single assembly line operated by two shifts with the capacity to manufacture 10,000 cars daily. The flexible production line at Guangzhou Honda is one of the most versatile and efficient assembly lines in China. Various models, including the Accord, Odyssey and FIT, are manufactured on this line at an average rate of one car every 51 seconds.
The First Chinese Business Daily recently reported that Nissan will increase its investment in Nissan Dongfeng, including a new assembly line that will build 100,000 cars annually, to bring total capacity up to 450,000 cars per year. At present, Nissan Dongfeng has two manufacturing bases in Huadu and Xiangfan. The one in Huadu will increase its production to 200,000 cars while the Xiangfan assembly line will reach 150,000.
Robots on the RiseSpurred on by the phenomenal growth of the automobile industry, the demand for robots is expected to increase by 35 percent in coming years. Car part manufacturers from all parts of the globe are pouring into Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangdong, Hubei and Jilin, triggering a new wave of growth within this new industry.
China currently operates approximately 4,000 robots, and it is expected that 800 to 1,000 new robots will be sold in the Chinese market per year. Since 2001, with the development of the Chinese car industry, manufacturers have invested heavily in robotics and, as the Chinese domestic car market flourishes, the demand for spot welding and spraying robots is on the rise.
Beijing Hyundai has invested significantly in robotics. Its auto assembly plant currently operates 34 new robots, which have sped up production dramatically. This high-tech assembly line can manufacture a new car every 106 seconds. Within its welding workshop alone, there are 134 robots, bringing the automation level to 65 percent. The plant also has 27 robots that specialize in spray painting and are able to apply 13 different colors.